Steve Kruse, the IT director at the Vermillion School District, gave members of the Vermillion School Board Monday, Sept. 9 an update on how technology is being used in the district’s buildings.
“We’ve had quite a few changes through the technology department at Vermillion here this summer and through the first couple weeks of school,” he said.
Things haven’t changed much at the middle school, Kruse said.
“We are year number two with our one-to-one Chromebook Initiative,” he said. “We have about 315 or more Chromebooks right now sent out to kids. Kids do not bring them home; they go in a cart each night and they are just for the night.”
Kruse said Vermillion High School has seen the most drastic change in technology use.
“We went to a one-to-one Windows laptop, so we’ve got about 400-plus Windows laptops deployed right now to the 9 through 12 students,” he said. “Those were given out on day two and day three of school and they’ve had them for a little more than two weeks now. Things have been going pretty well at the high school from what we can tell.
“We’re providing some training on maybe going with some paperless classroom management systems,” Kruse said.
IPad that were used in the high school last year are now being used in the district’s two elementary schools.
“We’ve got about 280 IPad or more at Jolley Elementary, so each grade level has 40 to share and there are some carts as well, so if a teacher wants to check out a whole car for her or his class, they can do that,” he said. “There are also some Chromebooks at Jolley to introduce them (students) to that so that when they get to middle school, it’s not a new concept to them.
New smart TVs have also been introduced to second grade classrooms.
“These are touch panel TVs with some neat features. Something new that just came out is a wireless touch, so we can have a device wirelessly connected and they can touch both on the computer and on the TV,” Kruse said. “It’s a neat feature that just came out in the last week or so.”
Over 200 iPads are also being shared by students at Austin Elementary School. They also have 30 Chromebooks in that school’s STREAM lab. Chromebooks are also being used in Jolley Elementary’s STREAM lab.
The district’s kindergarten classrooms are utilizing active panel technology.
“We’ve had a busy summer, but I think we are in a pretty good position,” Kruse said. “Everything has kinks and everything has quirks that we’re trying to work out, but we’ve worked pretty hard this summer so that, hopefully, teachers have what they need and are going forward with working devices.”
New copying machines were installed in school buildings last summer.
“We’ve been working on an issue with those with the vendor,” he said, “and that has been solved, I think.”
At Jolley Elementary, copiers would go offline, Kruse said.
“We’ve linked it back to an address book that was being shared throughout the copiers and somehow that would cause that issue, so we stopped syncing that and we think we may have solved that issue,”